St. VINCENT and the GRENADINES: Opener Kraigg Brathwaite hit an unbeaten 123 Friday to pilot a strong West Indies position of 264-3 at close on the first day of the opening test against Bangladesh at Arnos Vale Sports Complex.
The right-hander struck eight boundaries off 269 balls as he notched his second century in 13 tests.
The 21-year-old Brathwaite shared an opening stand of 116 with Chris Gayle, who scored 64, and put on a further 128 with Darren Bravo, who contributed 62.
Two debutants shared the wickets for the tourists, with left-arm spinner Taijul Islam claiming 2-69 and off-spinning all-rounder Shuvagata Hom taking 1-76.
Brathwaite was typically obdurate throughout the day in an innings that spanned five and a half hours.
He and Gayle dulled Bangladesh during the morning session after the hosts were sent in.
They reached 103-0 at lunch with Gayle surviving a close run out chance when 35 and a dropped return catch to Rubel Hossain on 52 but there was precious little encouragement for the visitors.
Bangladesh hit back in the second session, with the spin duo of Hom and Taijul claiming their maiden scalps.
The 27-year-old Hom made the initial breakthrough when he claimed an lbw verdict against a sweeping Gayle. Umpire Marais Erasmus initially ruled not out but Bangladesh successfully got the decision overturned after using the DRS review.
Gayle slammed 10 fours and a six off 105 deliveries, and during his innings became the third West Indian after the legendary Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes to notch 7,000 runs as an opening batsman.
It was soon 133-2 when Kirk Edwards, after hitting a six and a four in 10, was snapped up at silly point off the leading edge by Mominul Haque off Taijul.
But Brathwaite and Bravo quickly doused the Bangladesh spirits with an assured third wicket stand either side of tea.
Brathwaite brought up his second test ton half hour after tea with a cover drive for his eighth four.
His only blemish came when on 113 he edged Hom low to wicket-keeper and captain Mushfiqur Rahim, who shelled the offering.
Left-hander Bravo compiled a half century of his own before, after lofting two successive boundaries off Taijul, he tried a similar shot and holed out to Mahmudullah at mid-on. The Trinidadian struck six fours and a six off 126 balls.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul, recently turned 40, spent nine deliveries on 1 not out before rain arrived to cut short the day.